At the centre of creating a vast, reliable IoT network lies one significant issue: compatible standards. Connected objects need to be able to speak to each other to transfer data and share what they are recording. If they all run on different standards, they struggle to communicate and share. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Standards Association lists a huge number of standards being developed and worked on for different applications.
“Additional needs are emerging for standardisation,” the Internet Society says. If standardisation happens it will let more devices and applications be connected.
To try and tackle this issue on an enterprise scale, Microsoft has introduced its own system for IoT devices. Called IoT Central, TechCrunch, reports the system gives businesses a managed central platform for setting up IoT devices. Microsoft claims the system will simply the creation of IoT networks.
Gorski described IoT, even among those with the most experience of the concept, as a “relatively immature market” but said 2016 may have been a turning point. The Hypercat standard is now supported by ARM, Intel, Amey, Bae Systems and Accenture and the firms are currently agreeing on a format for “exposing collections” of URLs, for example.
“In the short term, we know [IoT] will impact on anything where there is a high cost of not intervening,” Evans said. “And it’ll be for simpler day-to-day issues – like finding a car parking space in busy areas, linking up your home entertainment system and using your fridge webcam to check if you need more milk on the way home.
“Ultimately what makes it exciting is that we don’t yet know the exact use cases and just that it has the potential to have a major impact on our lives.”
This article was originally published in January 2017. It has since been updated with further IoT information.